Page 6 of Purple Haze Travel Blog Posts

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine March 23rd 2013

Today is the big day... Time to tackle the Paso John Gardner, with an ascent of more than 600 metres to above 1000 metres, and then descending 800 metres on the other side. We are up early, after a bloody cold night, and the temperature is still hovering around 0 degrees. Our fingers go numb quickly as we pack up the tent, warming them with some tea and a big bowl of oats and dolche de leche (kind of like creamed caramel). The track out of the campsite is essentially a quagmire, with loads of water and mud and the odd tree branch positioned by other walkers to help navigate through the mess. It is also a small steady incline, and the going is tough, having to navigate through mud, balancing on rocks and swinging off ... read more
View back down through the quagmire
We have how @#$%^&* far to go??
Glacial Stream

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine March 22nd 2013

We wake to a beautiful day, an absolute contrast to the day before. We have spectacular views to the mountain ranges surrounding us, and realise why it was so cold the night before; there is an enormous glacier which the wind was blowing across straight onto the campsite. There is also small icebergs floating down the river. It seems that the cold i finally shook off a few days prior has come back with my ears blocked and my throat raging. Luckily, it is an easy walk today, 9km to Campamento Los Perros, as tomorrow we have a killer of a day. It is a steady climb out of the camp site through a pretty forest, with great views back towards the glacier. After reaching the peak it is a meandering walk through a beautiful forest ... read more
View back to the glacier
The forest in the morning
The forest in the morning

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine March 21st 2013

Day 2 begins nicely with the sun shining, but very fresh. We knew from the weather forecast that today was going to be a bad weather day, with wind over 100km and heavy rain. We quickly scoff down some breakfast and make tracks before we freeze as it takes a while for the sun to rise and heat up. We have 19km to cover to get to Refugio Dickson. The first hours walk is similar to the day before, quite flat and following the river Rio Paine down the east side of the park. At one point when we stop to get some water mojo finds some pretty big puma paw prints in the mud, that were fresh from the night before. To get to the north side of the park we encounter our first pass, ... read more
Puma paw prints
The Pass to get to the north side
Panorama from top of the pass

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine March 20th 2013

Today we ventured off to Torres Del Paine to tackle the circuit, which is the famous 'W' trek, plus the backside of the national park. It's around 90-100km, and you need to be self sufficient. So the previous day we went out and bought our supplies and hired a tent and some sleeping mats (as we were unable to make our thermarests fit when we left Oz). We were pretty limited in what food we could get, so it will be 3 minute noodles (not 2 minute), soup, dehydrated potato, oatmeal, dried fruit and nuts for a week. Glad the tent had ventalation... After registering at the national parks adminstration office, we headed to Campamento Seron,a nice 11km to ease our way into the circuit. The weather was good, slightly warm, and we had good views ... read more
Wont lose us
Mike and Mojo
Panorama view of Torres Del Paine

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Puerto Natales March 18th 2013

We arrived in Puerto Natales, minus one Frenchman. Mike had missed picking up his laundry on Saturday evening by 5 minutes, and was therefore unable to get the bus with us from El Calafate to Puerto Natales. As the laundaret is not open on Sundays, it looks like he will not make it here until Tuesday, and hopefully on Wednesday we will head into Torres Del Paine. The bus ride was pretty good. Jo has caught the cold that has finally done the full circuit amongst us all, and i was tired, so we slept for a good few hours out of the 6 hour ride. When i did have my eyes open, there was spectacular views to Torres Del Paine across desolate fields of nothingness. How flora and fauna survive here is beyond me. In ... read more
View out over the harbour towards TDP
View out over the harbour towards TDP

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate March 16th 2013

Today we went ziplining (flying fox). It was Emiliano's idea, as it was his last day of his holiday, and we had booked it the night before. Unfortunately, he has come down with the cold that has been making its way through all of us, and has bailed out. Just leaving Jo, Mike and myself to do it on another beautiful day. We drive about an hour out of El Calafate to a private farm, where they do eco tours. The zipline circuit for us is 2.5km's over 5 individual lines, weaving its way down a small mountain. After getting up the mountain in a 4x4 we are greeted with the first line, 544 metres in length and 60 metres high. We have tremendous views over towards Torres Del Paine, 450km away, and can actually make ... read more
The view to the lagoon
Torres Del Paine
Mojo getting ready

Off to the Los Glaciares National Park today to see the Perito Moreno Glacier. Up at 6am to hunt for a taxi, or bus company to take us out there. Ended up getting a bus tour for a good price, but its still not cheap when you add in national park fee's and a boat ride. Once again a spectacular day, we can see Torres Del Paine in Chile, clearly - some 450kms away. The bus tour guide says that there are only a few days a year like this, and on bad days they get 3m waves on the lake!!! Bus ride is good, we briefly see an armadillo brefore he disapears, as well as some eagles and a condor ripping into some roadkill. We get to the park, and the glacier blows your mind. ... read more
View to Mt Fitzroy (El Chalten)
Sunrise over Lago Argentina
First glimpse of the glacier

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate March 14th 2013

Arrived in El Calafate in the early afternoon after an enjoyable flight with Lade Air. Seeing as the tickets were so cheap i was expecting that we would be sitting amongst some chickens and a crate of fruit. But we were served a nice lunch and drinks, including beer, which i suprisingly turned down as i was still getting over a cold. Additionally, we had views across the Andes the whole way down. For two hours it was non stop snow capped mountains and lakes as the weather was still spectacular. Arrived in El Calafate to find it much warmer then Bariloche (at least while the sun was up), and started the hunt for a hostel. With backpacks on we tramped around the streets of the town until we had found one that we were happy ... read more
Ducks in Laguna Nimez
Flamingo in Laguna Nimez
Flamingo in Laguna Nimez

Well, i have come down with a dirty, stinking cold... Although annoying, it has given me a chance to start on the blog. On a more happier note, today Emiliano finally gets to skydive after waiting one week for the weather to be right. Even though the sun has been out the last few days, there has still been enough wind to cancel the skydive each day. He is one happy dude, and we are all excited for him. Mike, Bruno, Jo and I head down to the lake to eat some lunch and catch some rays, and hope to see Emi freefalling from the sky while we are down there. We have lunch and listen to some tunes, and look for Emi, to no avail. We head back to the hostel and await his return. ... read more
Mojo enjoying the Sun
Looking for Emi

Woke up to a gorgeous day, with not a cloud in sight, and no sore legs, suprisingly after the previous days walking. The legs must be getting used to the mileage. Mike, Emiliano, Jo and I are keen to tackle a hard trek today, with Bruno skipping out. We decide to walk up the Cerro Catedral, the mountain we caught a gondala and a chairlift up on our second day. After getting the bus out there, Emiliano chats with a local who runs a cafe, and he recomends that we trek the Condor instead, which is black/blue ski run next to the Catedral, and apparently has better views. So after feasting on some chocolate, we head off. The climb starts at around 1100 metres and tops out at just under 2000 metres. Instead of following the ... read more
Guacho on the Cerro Condor
Jo weaving her way up thru the thistles
If you look hard enough, you will see Jo

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